Multipurpose WordPress themes have become increasingly popular on marketplaces such as themeforest. Not only do these themes provide a lot of ‘eye candy’, but are easily adaptable to suit any type of website and industry. Web designers often think that these themes can save a lot of time in getting a site up and running. While it’s true that these themes come with a ton of customization options that don’t require coding skills and have a lot of ‘cool’ functionality built right in, there is a downside.
The plugin /theme line:
Many (probably most if not all) of these themes register custom post types and shortcodes adding a lot of functionality to a wordpress site. All that makes everything very pretty, but it can pose a major headache when you decide to switch to a different theme at some point in the future. I found that out the hard way. Once you deactivate the theme, custom post types, such as portfolio items for example, will probably disappear and incorporated shortcodes will display literal text unless your new theme uses the same custom post types and shortcodes (unlikely).
Before you buy one of these themes, consider plugins to accomplish your objective. It’s more time consuming at the start, but might avoid a major headache down the line. If you think that only one of these premium themes can accomplish what you or your client need, be aware that heavily incorporating custom post types and shortcodes will probably make your life miserable at some point in the future.
Bloat will slow things down
Another thing to keep in mind is that a lot of customization will bloat your site considerably by producing extra lines of code and database queries slowing things down.
I don’t want to seem totally negative about these feature rich themes. I am actually using ‘Enfold’ for one of my clients (an interior design firm). When I set up my client’s site, my head was spinning a little. Enfold has so many different types of portfolio structures and gallery types that I didn’t need. I still felt it was a good solution for that particular client. Sometimes, you just cannot find a suitable plugin and have to go with one of these feature rich themes. You just have to keep yourself disciplined to not overuse animation effects or think that you have to incorporate everything these themes offer.